Friday, December 03, 2010

New York Times and Narcissism

I had to post something about this recent New York Times article. Though not that funny, it did amuse me. I think Tyler LePerdu would be outraged.

A Fate that Narcissists will Hate: Being Ignored
The New York Times

Thursday, May 31, 2007

On Hiatus

I am away working on other projects, such as my new novel and my family. Please feel free to contact me for any questions about this blog or the book (or just about anything).

Email Jonathan Foster.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Future of the Past

Among the many directions AoaN sent me, it was above all an important step into the world of digital printing. Into the future. Technology at its best. Print on demand. Fast. Easy. State of the art.

Yesterday, I took an equally important step in the opposite direction. Into history. Indeed, back to the beginnings of modern communication technologies to the Gutenberg Press. Though part of our bigger plan, it happened as suddenly as bringing home a puppy from the Safeway parking lot, and the result is sitting behind me on the dining table. It's what makes life with Linda Sue such a delectible experience.

The Call of Semi-Luddism

We'd been thinking about getting into letterpress for some time, mainly for Linda Sue - it seemed a meaningful next step in her artistic path, given her background in printmaking - but I was also intrigued, wanting to take the classes she'd been exploring. So after a random search on CraigsList on Friday, Saturday morning we headed down to meet Jack and Karen in Albany. I usually feel apprehensive about meeting strangers in their home, partly because I feel like an intruder, partly because I feel like a captive audience to a life I might not want to see. But Jack's good nature was as clear as his bloodlines - he looked as though he'd been pulled from the pages of a Joyce novel (though his accent was definitely midwest). Their home was small and simple, almost bohemian, some original art, no TV, jazz playing on a boombox. I liked it all, but was ultimately won over by their MacIntosh Classic, sitting in mint condition next to a dot-matrix printer. "She uses it as her typewriter," Jack explained; "It's my word processor," she said.

Jack was relieved about Linda Sue's history in printmaking, more so that she'd taken a class at The San Francisco Center for the Book and was connected to Dauphine Press in Petaluma. He cared about future of the press he was selling, but I suspect he was also reluctant to send someone down the letterpress path unwittingly, a path he knew well. It had brought him a lifestyle that included an accumulation of inks, a vast array of typeface, job cases, quoins, leads, cutting tools and one more table top press than he needed. He was downsizing and decided to sell his Adana "Eight-Five".

Made in England in 1953, the Adana Eight-Five is a tabletop press, and like most of its kind, a beautiful machine in its simplicity. Jack took the time to tell us what he knew about it historically, gave us reference materials, and explained how each of its parts worked. He showed us some of the prints he created on it and pulled out his collection of dingbats, one of which was an old-style Union 76 logo, meaningful to me because my Dad worked there for over 30 years. "Oh. Well, take this as our gift to you," Jack said. We decided to buy a set of typeface, Garamond Bold Italics 12pt, and he threw in all the necessary materials - quoins, leading, furniture, chases, em leaders, an H.B. Rouse composing stick, and two unopened jars of ink - to start printing that night. Then he agreed to pose with the Adana.

He said he hoped to see us at the Book Arts and Printers Fair in April. I hope the same.

The World of the Exiguous

We weren't able to jump right in last night, nor today for that matter, if only because the task of organizing all the typefaces within their respective compartments in the California Job Case (that Jack also threw into the deal) takes forever and could cost us our eyesight.

Right now, Linda Sue is seated next to our new addition, sorting the "ff"s from the "ffe"s (the double letters arecalled ligature, I've learned) and chirping along with the music streaming from our iMac via iTunes to our Apple Airport that is hardwired to the Denon stereo. Not exactly the simplicity of a boombox, but we are streaming Hank Mobley.

Hang on to your hats and glasses. Here we go.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

cut to the chase

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Wet

This image makes me a bit homesick for Seattle. It is the work of Melanie Connor, a photographer for the New York Times (used here without permission, though much appreciated nonetheless), and I think it is one of the more meaningful photographs I've seen of downtown. Of course, I do like my lines. You ought to read an article on near-record-breaking rain and see why they used this one.

I spent a wonderful weekend in Ashland OR over the holiday and visited with Linda Sue's family, but in particular enjoyed discussions with my brother-in-law Steven. Visiting his studio was a quiet joy for me, and I wish now we'd had more time to ruminate there. Good things are happening in that room.

He also (perhaps unwittingly) gave me some good ideas about a new approach to this writing space. We'll see. For now, I'm trying to reach my monthly pages goal, and I still have 3 whole days. December will be a tough month for getting work done. We'll see.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Interactivity - Writing - Thou

I have the honor of daily visits from Bruce Wolcott's "Writing for the Web" class (I believe that's the title) at Bellevue Community College in Washington, where I used to teach as well. AoaN has had more varied interactivity than its seen in a long time, and I'm loving it. It's an assignment for them, it's a breath of fresh air for me. And, a worthy distraction...

For Those of You from BCC

I encourage you to dig deeper into the archives for earlier postings. That's the power of Internet writing, the concept and execution of the hyperlink. You'll find an array of topics from which to choose, and I will do my best to respond to you intelligently and concisely. That's my plan and pledge, at least.

For fun, check out DareToPlay under "Other Projects." You'll be taken the homepage for another project of mine, an interactive storytelling concept that you may find interesting for the subject of your class, but even moreso because Bruce is involved in another project there. Follow the links to Education/Training. The case study on that page is a project that Bruce and I have been working on for some time, "DareToPlay2Learn", a collaboration between BCC, DareToPlay and the Seattle Central Public Library. You can even try out the adventure by clicking through to the homepage. Enjoy it!

For Those of You from the Rest of the World

Feel free to jump into the interactivity. All responses are welcome, and yours are completely unrelated to a grade!